HTML Email Best Practices For 2011
Below you will find our hints and tips and best practices for creating great html email campaigns in 2011.
Maximum width: 600px excluding background
If the main body of your content is wider than 600px then it may cause rendering problems on some email clients and web browsers with the main body of your content off to one side.
Maximum height: Any length
Technically the length of an email doesn't matter although you may want to keep people engaged, and short is sweet in many cases. However a long format newsletter may be more suited to your audience.
Fold height: 300px
The fold (also know as the preview pane) should contain your lead headline which would tempt people into interacting with the email - be it downloading the images to see a larger call to action, or at least scrolling to see the rest of your email and any additional offers.
View in browser link
Having a link at the top of the email that goes to web based version of your html email ensures that people with old mail clients will still be able to view your message. This is link is usually provided by your mail shot company.
Add to address book
Some marketers opt for a small message at the top of the email asking clients to add an email to their address book. This assures that future messages to that person won't land in their spam folder.
If the offer in your email doesn't appeal to your customer then it important to give them opportunities to navigate to another part of your website, thus increasing your click through rate.
All selectable text should be on a plain colour background & use a websafe font such as Arial, Courier, Verdana or Times New Roman.
Whats selectable text?
It's the text you see before downloading any images. Depending on the type of email, you generally want enough text to entice readers to download the images to see a larger call to action.
For images we also make sure that relevant alt tags are used only when appropriate. For example we would use a alt tag for a product image but not for a line break.
Enabling your customers to pass your message on via social sites is a great way to drive additional traffic, so make it easy for them by adding links to your social sites.
Opt-out & Unsubscribe
Links should be at the bottom of the page - Don't harm your brand by making unsubscribing difficult.
Terms & conditions
Since January 2008 in the UK, it is now a legal requirement that you include the registered name and address of your company on all email marketing and also it is required by the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 in the US.
Including a quick reason why your client is receiving this email can decrease your number of unsubscribers.
Forward to a friend
Forwarding HTML email can be hit and miss, with links missing, graphics not loading and html rendering incorrectly. The only reliable solution to include a forward to a friend link which should be provided by your email campaign software.
Colour Mode: RGB
Colour Profile: None
Resolution: 72 DPI
Background: Solid colour or repeatable / tileable patterns work best as you won't know how wide a screen the client uses.